The best part about my travel around 65 countries is the opportunity to experience authentic cuisines from different parts of the world.
Having lived in New York where I had to try food from different parts of the world, it naturally lends to your curiosity to try the native cuisines in their homeland. So when I am in a country, I asked the locals for recommendation on the best places to try these cuisine.
Here are my top favorite cuisines around the world and where I like to try them.
1. Japanese Sushi
Sushi is at the top of my culinary list. If you like the art of sushi making you must watch this independent film Jiro Dreams of Sushi (directed by David Gelb) where the film revolves around the life of famed Sushi chef Jiro. Jiro manages a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. As it is shown in the film if you want to buy the freshest sushi you go to Tsukiji wholesale Fish market. The place is abundant with locals as early as 5am in the morning. You can have a breakfast and start exploring the different fish stalls where you can witness how artfully they cut the Tuna. Everyday about 2000 tons of seafood passes this market.
#japanese #sushi #tsukiji #tokyo #kyoto
But the best place to try sushi is at one of those conveyer belt restaurants in Shubuyu or Shinjuku. You can comfortable eat 20 plates of sushi for under 2000 yen (about USD 20).
2. Middle Eastern – Lebanese/Syrian
The middle eastern food consists mainly of a healthy mix of salads like Tabboueleh, Fatoush, Baba Ghanoush and Dolmas.
Tabboueleh salad is made from bulgar wheat (or semolina), fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, mint, chopped parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Fatuoush is similar to Tabboueleh salad without bulgar wheat and with radish. Domas is a stuffed dish with rice and pinenuts, zucchini, peppers onions wrapped with grapevine leaf.
#lebanese #syrian #Tabboueleh #Fatoush #Ghanoush #salad
Many people narrow Vietnamese food to just Pho. But it much more than that. Sure Pho is the typical Vietnamese soup (made with noodles and fresh herbs) the locals have in the morning for breakfast or for dinner. But there is Bahn Mi (short baguette sandwich), Bun cha (dish made with grilled pork and noodle), Goi cuon (fresh spring roll with vegetables or egg), Banh khot (Vietnamese pan cake), Banh Xeo (a crispy crepe filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts) and the list goes on.
4. Georgian Caucus cuisine
Georgian food, king of Caucasian food is rich with flavors. When you are enjoying this food with your Georgian friends you will definitely lose track of time. In the top of the list are Kachapuri, Khinkali and Kharcho soup. Don’t forget to try the Barbeque grilled lamb meat with alternating pieces of vegetables.
Khinkali is a crunchy dumpling with a topknot usually filled with some type of meat, water, herbs and topped with some pepper. You make a small bite on the corner, suck into the juice inside and then start eating the rest. Kachapuri is a cheese filled bread sometimes with the yellow yolk of an egg on top of the bread. Kharcho soup is the comfort soup food you need in the cold winter. The soup is prepared with beef or chicken, khmeli suneli (a Georgian five-spice blend) and cilantro on top. The best place to try Georgian food is in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Kazbegi.
Georgia is generally considered as the cradle of wine in the world. And the best place to try the wine is the Khaketi region.
#Khinkali #Kachapuri #georgian #puri #kharcho
There are a multitude of authentic Italian dining experience you can have in New York but noting comes close to trying it in Naples or Tuscany. Writing about Italian cuisine has to be an article by itself. The first one to try is the Margherita thin crust Pizza in Naples. The legend goes that the pizza was created to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy by the Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito. It is created with dough, tomato sauce mozzarella cheese and basil. If you walk around Naples downtown you can find many hole in a wall place that sells these delicious thin crust pizzas.
Besides pizza and pasta the typical food you can try are Carmenere, Eggplant parmiagana, Shrimp scampi, Risotto (personal favorite), Pomodora basilico and Lasagna.
Finish it off with some delicious desserts such as Panna cotta and Tiramisu, funnel cake and truffles.
#pizza #fettuchine #parmiagana #tiramisu
What a great way to start a day with a grand and a scrumptious Turkish breakfast. Breakfast usually consists of feta cheese, black or green olives, bread with butter, honey, jam, boiled eggs, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.
Turkish falafel and doner sandwich can be found in many hole in a wall places around Istanbul. You finish it off with a strong turkish coffee. In my experience only three countries have the best dessert options – Japanese, Italian and Turkish. The primary ingredient in most Turkish dessert is Pistachio.
Best places to try Turkish food is Istanbul, Bodrum, Cappadochia and Berlin. Berlin has a big Turkish immigrant community that made the doner sandwich popular in the world.
#falafel #baklava #turkishcoffee #doner #dolmas
Thai food is rich with spices and fresh vegetables like scallions, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, bok choi, carrots and cilantros. Most dish is curry based prepared with creamy coconut or ginger paste.
Street food is very popular in Thailand. Almost no one cooks but rather eat out. Why not? Food is fresh, cheap and delicious. There are food markets in every island and town where you can buy food throughout the day.
Curries like masaman, red and cocunut curry are very popular. But for lunch try the fresh salads with lettuce, cucumbers, carrots topped with ginger sauce.
#masaman #curry #gingersalad #jasminerice
Mexican cuisine is very diverse depending on the region where you try in Mexico. But outside Mexico, U.S has the best Mexican food in the world. Most Mexican food share one common ingredient which is corn. You can literally find over 50 different types of dishes. Let’s go over a few below.
Pozole – a soup with Chicken broth with herbs, spices, dried ground chilli, lemon juice, and radish sprinkled on top.
Tacos al pastor – Corn made hardshell usually filled with shrimp, chicken or beef with onions, lettuce and fresh lemon juice.
Mole – One of the top dishes to try in Oaxaa, Mole is made from a spicy chocolate sauce poured over meat.
Enchiladas – Corn tortilla filled with meat and cheese and beans
#tacos #burritos #nachos #guacamole #mole #pozole
9. Spanish Cuisine
If you are in Spain you are in for a culinary treat. You go to local food markets in cities like Barcelona, Valencia, Granada and Cordoba where you can try different traditional dishes.
Some well known Spanish food includes Tapas, Paella (from Valencia), Pan con tomate (from Granada), Bacalao (from Basque country), Gazpacho and Churros.
Spanish meals usually starts with some tapas and then soup followed with a main course consisting of meat and rice (or bread). Tapas are small plates of hot and cold appetizers usually taken with a nice Spanish cava brut or some Rioja red wine.
Some Tapas that are typically found in restaurants and food markets are Patatas Bravas, Croquetas , Chorizo, Aceitunas and Shrimp chips.
#tapas #brut #paella #pancontomate #carajillo
Lima, capital of Peru has birthed some world renowned new age chefs like Gaston Acurio. And there is no better place to try Ceviche than in San Isidro area in Lima. One great place to try the freshest ceviche is La mar cebicheria peruana located right in the center of San Isidro. Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish like Bass, Snapper, Cod or shrimp cured in fresh lemon or lime, and topped with spices like aji, chopped onions, salt, and coriander. It is best when they prepare and serve fresh the same day.
#ceviche #trucha #piscosour